Don’t let the teddy bear on the cover fool you. Broken Toys is not for children and the children in it are not the stars of the show. Behind the cover of this book is a fast-paced, multicharacter novel about the horrors of a ring of child predators. Gruesome at times, think of it as an episode of Dateline in written form.
The cast of characters is rapidly introduced, which was a struggle for me. The excessive use of pronouns had me re-reading previous lines to ensure I was keeping everyone straight. It was worth the trouble and once I had the key characters identified, I read the entire book in one afternoon. I sweated with the Texas rangers beneath the summer sun. I felt the angst in Rhyden’s family conflict. Thompson paints a picture and then thrusts the reader into it.
Usually, I love the moment of discovery when the hidden meaning of the book’s title becomes apparent. There’s usually a golden thread among the pages and when I get to the end, I’m thrilled. In this case, that golden thread did not suspend my disbelief, but it was not a deal breaker.
A classic tale of good versus evil, Broken Toys is not for the faint of heart. You’ll be reminded that bad things happen in this world and that not everyone is who they claim to be.
Article originally Published in the April / May 2021 Issue: Cover Stories.